At Mennonite Brethren conferences, J.B. Toews had a knack for being the last person to speak on an issue. Some of us wondered: was it exquisite timing that gave him the final word at the microphone? Or was it just that after he had spoken there was nothing left to say?
This book may be JB's "last word" to his beloved church. In the first instance it is a personal testimony, a memoir of his life. But it is more than that. It is a particular kind of life, a life lived as a Mennonite Brethren.
In this volume, a companion to his earlier book, A Pilgrimage of Faith, JB's life is a lens that projects a fresh view of the Mennonite Brethren past. The book purports to be an autobiography, but JB's passion for the church is so all-consuming that the lines between denominational and personal history are not always sharp.
About the title: The shorthand of initials was common in earlier times when biblical names like Abraham, Jacob, John, and Peter would cover most of the men in a Russian Mennonite village. Initials like AH, BB, JJ, JA, and HH were a kind of conference code that brought immediate recognition.
J.B. Toews is one of those. Throughout the Mennonite Brethren Conference he is affectionately known as, simply, JB. There's no confusing him with anyone else because he's one of a kind.